1916 Sopwith TriplaneRouters Australia is currently working on a very exciting project, CNC Machining the components for the construction of a 1916 Sopwith Triplane, which is one of the most famous planes in aviation history & widely used during WWI.

All measurements are from original Blueprints & components, which are then 3-D modelled in Solidworks, & toolpaths created in CAMWorks. This data is transferred into a Routers Australia CNC Router, & the components cut with speed & precision.


Original Clerget 9B rotary aircraft engine

Here it is; one of the few original Clerget 9B rotary engines still in existence, ready to be installed in the Sopwith Triplane!

A note or two about the Motor :

The  original Clerget 9B rotary engine is a a nine-cylinder rotary aircraft motor designed by Pierre Clerget & used extensively by the British &  French during the World War I era. It was used on aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel & Sopwith Triplane.

An interesting fact about the Clerget 9B is that the propellor is fixed to the motor, with the entire engine spinning.

This motor is one of approxiately 18 originals left in the world. The photo shows both the size & beauty of this 1916 engineering masterpiece!

After it’s arrival, the motor’s eagerly anticipated first test run, was conducted & it ran beautifully.

1916 Sopwith Triplane CNC Routed wooden wing parts

CNC Routed wooden wing parts glued & assembled

Regarding the Wooden Components :

Top-quality wood was required for this project, matching the specifications needed for the aircraft: primarily, extremely light, while at the same time very strong.  Therefore, some components are being cut from 16 mm-thick Californian Aircraft Spruce, while Birch-Face Poplar is beng used for thinner pieces. As expected, this wood comes at a large expense & accuracy is imperative.. Herein lies one of the beauties of 3-D Modelling together with CNC machining.

Working from original blueprints, we are using some of the best industry-standard programs (SOLIDWORKS/CAMWorks) to create 3-D Models, & from these creating DXF Files, along with 2D & 3D toolpaths for the machine.

Here at Routers Australia we are proud to be a part of this exciting project! Stay tuned for more about the wood & metal components along with updates & photos as the building of the Sopwith progresses!